State Library of South Australia

'A Theatre Inside the Book' eBook

Date: 17 June 2016

At the end of 2015 students and educators from Gilles Street Primary School and Adelaide High School worked with our Community Learning team on a research project framed around the State Library's exhibition, A Theatre Inside the Book: Paper engineering from the collections of the State Library of South Australia.

Students enjoying popup books at the State Library
Students enjoying pop-up books at the State Library

The exhibition explored many different mechanisms of moveable books and ephemera, such as pop-ups, volvelles, concertinas, wheels, pull tabs, tunnels, carousels and 'flicker' animation, used to tell the story. The first moveable texts were created by adults as a way to explain facts and convey information. It wasn't until much later that movement was added to books to delight and entertain children.

Noahs Ark by Vojtech Kubasta in detail
'Noah's Ark', Vojteck Kubasta (detail) (CLRC Movable KUB b)

In response to feedback, thinking and wisdom shared by everyone involved in the research project, an eBook was created. The eBook explores paper engineering from our collections. It is an engaging, interactive book that provides detailed information about moveable texts that are rarely seen by the public. Audio and video provide additional information about these collection items, as well as instructions on how to make your own pop-up and moveable texts. An additional chapter includes a behind-the-scenes look at the development of the eBook through the co-creation process with schools.

'A Theatre Inside the Book' eBook is free to download in the iTunes store.

This is just one example of our student learning experiences. If you are looking for a unique learning experience for your students, visit Community Learning. Let us help your students unlock the past and discover the future.

Story by Sharon Morris & Leisel Underwood, Education Officers

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